Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Every Scar Tells a Story

Since 2006 the month of March has become an interesting month for me. It was a month that tested my faith, challenged my beliefs, made me question some things and created what would become painful memories.

It was a month that reminded me of a statement that I’ve used for many years with students and adults that I’ve ministered to. It’s a statement that packs an incredible punch when you think about it, because if we really took it to heart and used the purpose of it to empathize with others, what a huge difference we could make in this world.
The statement is “every scar tells a story!

It’s true isn’t it? You and I have all kinds of scars that we carry with us, physical scars, emotional scars; spiritual scars…all kinds of scars. I’m learning more and more that pain happens; you can’t avoid it, and with painful things comes scars. It’s what we do with the pain as it’s healing, and once our scars have formed, that’s the key.

On March 6th, 2006 my kids and I were in a car accident. We were traveling North on a road near our house. We came up to a very busy intersection and that particular day the sun was very bright, and it impaired my view of the traffic light as I approached.

I couldn’t tell if it was red, green or yellow, but judging by the fact that the east and west bound cars were sitting still, I assumed it was green for me. I went through the intersection, and before I could make it to the other side, a car that was heading west didn’t stop or even slow down at the traffic light and hit my van broadside on the passenger’s side.

We got hit so hard that the van flipped onto the driver’s side, blew out every window, and continued to flip upside down and do 360 degree turns for about 50 yards until we stopped.

My kids were hanging upside down, I was upside down, all the windows on my side were gone, there was glass everywhere inside the van, and for a matter of seconds (that seemed like an eternity) there was a weird silence inside my van. My kids weren’t screaming, I wasn’t screaming we were in complete and utter shock at what just happened.

Then all of a sudden as if a switch had just been turned on, my kids started crying and I turned around to see them hanging upside down, arms & legs flailing wildly. As a parent who would do anything for his kids, what an incredibly helpless feeling that was for me to see them in that state.

Well, it didn’t take long in terms of actual time to get myself unhooked and get my kids down and out of the van, but let me tell you, it seemed like forever. All kinds of thoughts were racing through my mind, as I climbed in through the broken window to get my son and daughter to safety.

The series of events that happened after the crash are amazing to me. It was a miracle for sure, I have no doubt! See for yourself…
  1. All the windows were blown out of the driver’s side, and the car was full of glass, yet none of us had a glass cut.
  2. The car that hit us, made impact right where my son was sitting, and had enough force to flip us over and onto our top, yet he had no injuries at all.
  3. The force of the flip caused the windshield to completely collapse in it’s entirety except where I was sitting.
  4. The windshield where my wife would have been sitting (passenger seat) if she was with us on this day, was completely crushed, and would have caused some serious damage to her.
  5. The police said they found our van over 50 yards from the intersection, and couldn’t believe that we didn’t get hit by oncoming traffic heading south as we did multiple 360 degree turns for 50 yards.
  6. When the ambulance workers arrived at the scene they were trying to figure out who was in the accident, because a large crowd had gathered around us, and besides being emotionally shaken there were no visible physical injuries on the kids at all.
  7. The ambulance workers strapped the kids to a body board as a precaution and it was when they were getting me ready to do the same that they realized that my left arm was pretty messed up. I didn’t even realize it, the adrenaline was pumping so much that I couldn’t feel anything, and didn’t even know I had received a very bad “road rash” from when the drivers’ window blew out and the van flipped over. It was NOT a glass cut (which again is incredible to me). They found bits of metal and gravel in the arm (which resembled hamburger as they put it).
  8. On the way to the hospital one of the ambulance workers was trying to keep the kids talking, and occupied so I heard her say to Serena “what do you think about all of this?” Serena replied “I’m just so glad that Jesus saved us!” The worker then said to Ethan, “Ethan what do you like to do for fun?” He answered “sing”. So, she said “really, can you sing me your favorite song?” He then sang every word of “Jesus loves me!”
  9. We got to the hospital, they rushed us in to a room together, and other than my messed up arm the doctors were astounded at what they were seeing. They saw two beautiful kids, totally un-cut, un-broken, and un-scathed physically. 
  10. The doctor had to do some minor cutting of skin from my arm, clean it out real good and apply some stitches and we were on our way home.
  11. A few days later my wife and I went to the junk yard to get our stuff out of the van, and as she was reaching her hand into it to retrieve an object she got cut on a piece of glass. We both looked at each other in amazement! The three of us should’ve all been cut from the huge amount of glass that came pouring in on us and all around us as we flipped and did multiple 360’s!
  12. My arm healed pretty quickly and left me with a very visible, miracle proclaiming, story telling, God praising, painful for a little while, SCAR!
Now, I’ve wondered why God allowed this to happen, I mean why would a loving God let his children go through something like this. Have you ever wondered that about your painful experiences?

I don’t know for sure, but since that day over 6 years ago, I’ve had some time to think about it, and process some potential reasons. I’ve basically come up with the fact that every scar tells a story, and this story is all about How faithful, powerful, awesome, protecting, loving, gracious, merciful, purposeful, sovereign, and downright AMAZING God is!

As I think about all the junk I’ve gone through in my life, I am continually blown away with the fact that Jesus loves me, Jesus died for me, Jesus rose for me, Jesus intercedes for me, Jesus blesses me, and Jesus is preparing a place for me! I don’t deserve any of that!

As author, speaker and musician, Louie Giglio puts it “All I know is that God is I AM and I am not!” I would add to that statement, that because that is true He allows us to go through some pretty tough stuff, and the key is to realize that He is right there with us, and wants us to use our experiences (Scars) to proclaim to others that God is in control, and it’s going to be ok!

So, my prayer is that God would give me the insight and wisdom to see that every scar tells a story, and that I would have the courage to plug in the microphone, turn on the sound system, walk onto the stage and
TELL MY STORY especially shining the spotlight on the HERO – JESUS!

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